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Over seven months of active implementation, the Hrana Gurmana campaign promoted more than 200 small businesses from Bosnia and Herzegovina helping them cope with the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its second phase implemented by Sweden/USAID FARMA II project came to an end, but the campaign continues under local ownership.

SARAJEVO, April 19, 2021 - The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project completed the second phase of its Hrana Gurmana campaign.  As of today, the campaign continues under the ownership of local actors, Association PROI and Balkanatina agency.

The project originally launched the campaign on July 1, 2020, to help small businesses involved in high-quality food production and distribution to cope with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It promoted their products and services helping them increase sales.

The first campaign phase lasted from July to September 2020. Following a positive assessment and a popular demand, the campaign continued with its second phase covering December 2020 – April 2021 period.

With an additional campaign phase, the number of supported small businesses grew from 146 to 215. Those include 165 producers of gourmet food, 20 shops that offer such products, and 30 restaurants that use domestic ingredients in their cuisine.

Building on the first phase that utilized five social media channels, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, the campaign launched its standalone website: www.hranagurmana.ba. Steaming from the FARMA II website it includes an interactive Hrana Gurmana Map and a Business Catalog providing information about small businesses, their products, and where to find them.

The campaign's social media following now includes more than 3,500 people. Its overall reach from July 2020 to March 2021 came to 970,000 people, Hrana Gurmana Map was visited 14,000 times, and the Business Catalogue registered 41,700 clicks.

“Hrana Gurmana campaign was a chance for us to broaden outreach across the whole of BiH and make our message heard outside the confines of local communities.  As a result, more people wanted to get in touch with us either as customers or to be inspired by our vision,” said Neira L. Salkić, the owner of Sherbeltook, a juice production from Sarajevo.

While the first campaign phase focused on telling the stories of local producers and promoting their products, the second campaign phase also promoted women and youth entrepreneurship in food production.

“Hrana Gurmana reminded us of what our consumers are after. Our buyers want to know where their food is coming from, and they are looking for homemade products that they associate with staying healthy," said Danije Džakula from Stolac, the owner of OPG Džakula, a producer of homemade fruit and vegetable products. "My business was promoted in several ways, but I appreciated the most the video and a mini-campaign about women entrepreneurship. I am sure that this initiative will encourage and inspire other women to embark on the path of entrepreneurship,” she added.

The campaign's second phase included 125 daily social media posts, some 350 Facebook and Instagram stories, eight viral videos, and an equal number of news items and stories.

In the impact assessment survey amongst small businesses promoted through the campaign, 62.5 percent noted that their sales increased during the campaign, while 68.8 percent said that the campaign contributed to the promotion of their products. All of them said they wanted the campaign to continue.

The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project launched and ran the campaign thus far. Moving on, the campaign and the implementation of its mission will continue under local ownership. The association PROI in cooperation with the Balkantina agency will take Hrana Gurmana forward building on the results achieved thus far.